Relisha Rudd's grandmother talks to WUSA9

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- While Melissa Young might not have initially had a problem with Kahlil Tatum spending time with her granddaughter, the events just before Relisha Rudd's disappearance would make anyone suspicious. Relisha was last seen alive on March 1 with Tatum, her alleged abductor, who was found dead in Kenilworth Park last week.

WUSA9 has been investigating Tatum's past and learning more about his relationship with Relisha's family. Anchor Jan Jeffcoat sat down with Young to discuss her granddaughter's disappearance and get answers from one of the people who knew Relisha and her mom the best.

The first question Jeffcoat asked Melissa Young, Relisha's maternal grandmother, was: "Didn't it make you feel uncomfortable knowing that a man was taking this little girl away on trips?"

VIDEO:Relisha's mom refuses to talk about Tatum

Young said it did make her uncomfortable initially, but that she does the same thing; there are plenty of kids she watches and she always gets permission from the parents. Young also talked extensively about the timeline of events when it came to her contact with Tatum.

First, Jeffcoat asked: "When was the last time you saw Relisha?"

Young said it was March 1 and answered: "Physically, the last time I saw her was when that video was put on Instagram."

Young said she called Tatum on March 12 to see if he could fix the tablet he bought for Relisha.

Young said: "I called Mr. Tatum and let him know her tablet was broken. I asked him was there a warranty and could we get it fixed, and he said yes there is a warranty. I said when do you want to pick it. He said I'll pick it up Sunday. I said okay. Then, I said Mr. Tatum have you talked to Relisha or do you have Relisha. His answer to me was no, he didn't have her. Then he said: Do you know where I am? And I'm like: Yeah, you should be home, getting ready to go out of town on your trip. This was when he was going to Atlanta Georgia. So he was like: Yeah you're right, but I'm already in Atlanta, Georgia. He said: We're already in Atlanta, Georgia. And I'm like: Who? You, your wife, your daughter and your granddaughter? That's when he says to me: No, me, my wife, Relisha, my granddaughter and my daughter."

Jeffcoat asked: "What were they doing there?" Young replied: "He told me it was a retreat, I don't know, but he told them, he told Shamika, it was a medical thing or something."

Young said before she hung up, she told Tatum to bring Relisha home by Sunday, March 16 for a birthday party and then immediately called her daughter Shamika.

Young remembered, "I said: Shamika did you know your daughter was out of town with Mr. Tatum and his family? She said: When he asked me can she go, I told him no, don't take her. How do you know? I said because I just called him."

Tatum never showed up that Sunday with Relisha, but Young claims Tatum called her the very next morning.

Young said: "Before he fled, he was like: I took Relisha to school. And I'm looking at the calendar. I know what day it is and I know school is closed."

Young claims the next day, March 18, Tatum told the family that he tried to take Relisha to school, but was told her medical leave was not over for another week. On Wednesday, March 19, police launched an investigation into Tatum and sent out an amber alert to find Relisha after school officials and social workers alerted them to her absence.

On March 20, Tatum's wife Andrea Tatum was found dead in a Red Roof Inn in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Tatum was named the prime suspect in her murder. His body was found 11 days later in Kenilworth Park in the District. Relisha is still missing.


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